Cruise ships are a fun and engaging way to see numerous ports of call, enjoy a variety of activities and travel through beautiful regions. Cruise ship travel is, by nature, markedly different from any other form of vacation. So, you need to plan accordingly.
From packing to medical considerations, preparing for a cruise vacation goes beyond the basics of swim trunks and guide books. To learn about how best to prepare for a cruise vacation, keep reading for great tips on everything from packing your suitcase to ward off seasickness.
What to Pack on a Cruise Vacation
Ultimately, what you pack is going to depend on your destination. An Alaskan cruise will require different clothing than a Caribbean cruise at the height of summer. That said, do not let land temperatures fool you. Particularly during the winter months, some cruises (like those leaving from LA) can be quite cold. Regardless of the forecasts on land, always pack a wind-resistant jacket and at least one set of clothes that will allow you comfort up on deck when things get chilly out at sea.
You'll also need proper identification and proof of purchase to board a cruise ship. These will be required at every port-of-call, so pack your papers (including your health insurance) in a water-resistant envelope that's small enough to carry with you if you plan to leave the ship.
You will most likely need travel health insurance for your next cruise vacation. When purchasing travel insurance, try to find one that's geared specifically towards crises and the legal intricacies of international waters.
Secondly, pack any needed medications. You may even want to pack extras or a spare if you intend to go to shore. For example, an asthmatic may want to pack one inhaler to carry in a pocket and another backup inhaler just in case. Most cruise ships have a medical clinic and doctor or health professional on-board the ship, but this is typically a stopgap measure, not a full-proof backup.
Finally, if you're prune to motion sickness, you can prepare for your voyage with basic ginger root. An herbal remedy, ginger root has been proven to help with seasick while avoiding the side effects common with many pharmaceutical motion sickness remedies. Herbalists recommend taking the ginger root starting a few weeks before you actually leave on your cruise.
What You Should Leave Behind
Always leave behind a full travel itinerary and emergency contact information with family and friends. Most cruise lines offer an emergency number that can be used by family and friends in case that they need to get in touch with you urgently.